Families hopeful CBD oil bill will finally pass

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 23:28:42-05

Big changes have been made to the bill that would make it legal to possess a marijuana extract in Wisconsin.  Senators heard from families who have renewed hope this will finally pass, thanks to a mother's tireless efforts. 

Sally Schaeffer told the state senate committee "whether your child is dead or alive, that mother's love will never ever change.  And that's why I continue to be here." 

It's not the first time she's shared the story of her daughter's death with these senators.  "Every time I come here every time I speak to you, it opens this huge hole in my heart," Sally said.

For the past three years, Sally has worked to make possession of CBD oil legal in Wisconsin.  Today she told us it's almost making her angry in a way, "...that our legislators can't hear the people of Wisconsin speaking, what they like.  And we need to move this forward."

The oil is a marijuana extract known to calm seizures.  It's low in THC, meaning there's no "high."  Sally's daughter Lydia suffered from seizures.  Out of options for treatment, Sally pushed to make the oil legal.  In 2014 "Lydia's Law" passed, but Lydia died before she could try it.  Now more than two years later, because of a loophole in the law, people in Wisconsin still can't legally get CBD oil.

Representative Scott Krug, a co-sponsor on the bill, told his fellow legislators "this needs to be fixed folks.  This is something government does not need to have involvement in. If a doctor and a parent make a decision, that's something we should be able to respect."

The bill would make the oil legal to possess with a doctor's certification.  It's Racine Senator Van Wanggaard's second attempt to fix Lydia's Law.  Last year his bill didn't pass.  This time around it offers hope to more families.  CBD oil would be legal to use for all medical conditions.

"By supporting this bill we can reward their passion, ease their desperation, give them hope," Senator Wanggaard testified Tuesday.

It's a change in the bill Sally welcomes.  "Knowing that they can talk to their physician freely about using it for not only seizures, but any condition and any age, I'm ecstatic about that." 

Sally told us she's optimistic this time that the bill will pass, and asked her legislators today to make it happen.  "Wisconsin needs to fix this mistake. No smoke and mirrors anymore, no loopholes. We need to fix it."

The bill is expected to make it out of committee and go to a vote before the full senate next week. The state assembly won't take up the bill until March. 

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